The cocktail hour is more important than you might first give it credit. Sure, it’s a good time for your guests to chat and grab a few drinks and appetizers. However, for the event organizers, this is an important time period to make sure you check a few things off your to-do list and really set the tone for the rest of the evening.
Take this time to say “Thank You”
Don’t let the cocktail hour pass without doing a round of thank yous to all of your guests. This is an excellent opportunity to personally converse and thank everyone who supports your organization.
You can also take this opportunity to give a glimpse into how the evening will unfold. This will build excitement and get your guests moving forward with the fundraising aspects of the evening.
For all those new faces out there, this is also a great time to introduce yourself. Fill them in on the needs and wants attached to the mission of your organization.
Meet with the wait staff
The cocktail hour is the perfect opportunity to make your way around to various wait staff working the event. Let them know a little bit about your organization and how the evening will work. Specifically, you want to mention that they cannot interrupt when potential fundraising (bidding, raffles sales, etc.) is taking place.
This interaction with the wait staff can go a long way to making your fundraising event go as smoothly as possible.
Also, when you meet with the wait staff, make sure that enough food is being passed around during the cocktail hour. Too much booze exclusively that early on can cause some problems.
Time for fundraising activities — but don’t make it a circus!
Many organizations try to cram in as many fundraising activities as they can during the cocktail hour. This type of “circus environment” does not bode well with guests. Smaller activities with smaller donations usually only amount to around $5 to $10 per person.
For this reason, we suggest no more than three ways for your guests to donate during the cocktail hour. A silent auction, raffle tickets and one other fun, engaging activity would be great options during the cocktail hour. These activities will help increase the size of your donations in comparison to doing a lot of small donation activities.
Take advantage of your cocktail hour with these above mentioned tips and your event will be lined up for success. For more valuable insight and tips to help with your next fundraising event, be sure to contact us today at AmFund.